Led by Ray Lewis, three Baltimore Ravens were selected as the best in their positions by USA Today for their NFL All-Decade Team. The three had plenty of competition at their respective positions, as USA Today listed the four other guys at each position that were under consideration for the honors.
Ray was tabbed as the best inside linebacker, ahead of such other greats as Chicago's Brian Urlacher, Miami's Zach Thomas, NYJ/Pittsburgh's James Farrior and Denver's Al Wilson. Surprisingly, former Raven and now NY Jet Bart Scott actually received one vote to be on this list.
Ed Reed, not surprisingly either, was put at the head of the safety class, a solid group that also looked at Philadelphia's Brian Dawkins (now Denver) Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu, New Orleans/Minnesota/Green Bay's Darren Sharper and Tampa Bay/Denver's John Lynch. NE's Rodney Harrison finished just off the top five.
Finally, left tackle Jonathan Ogden got the top honor amongst a beast of a group of offensive tackles this decade. He was followed in the voting by Seattle's Walter Jones, St. Louis' Orlando Pace, Dallas' Flozell Adams, and New Orleans/KC's Willie Roaf. Former Ravens and Bengals OT Willie Anderson finished just behind Roaf.
In other positions, Terrell Suggs received three votes in the outside linebacker position, finishing out of the top five, which was led by Tampa Bay's Derrick Brooks. Chris McAlister finished tied for 6th place (with NE's Troy Vincent) in the cornerback position, led by Denver's Champ Bailey. Former Ravens and now Colts kicker Matt Stover finished a solid second in the placekicker positon, ironically led by former Patriots and now sidelined Colts' Adam Vinatieri. Current Ravens and former Vikings center Matt Birk, finished out of the top five in the interior lineman (guard/center) voting, but did receive five votes to finish tied for 7th at that spot.
Kick/punt returners, tight ends, running backs, wide receivers and finally quarterbacks will be named as their positions come up in future editions of the USA Today over the next two weeks. I wouldn't be surprised to see former Ravens RB Jamal Lewis somewhere on the running back list, based on his record setting season that included what was the all time single game rushing record as well as his 2,000+ yard season.
See the current listing here.